Few musical ploys are as riveting as intricacy, especially when the ensemble at hand is sizable. But without a wealth of eloquence in play, elaboration can be its own worst enemy, a knot of tangles void of emotion.
Over the past dozen years, clarinetist Anat Cohen has risen to the top tier of jazz, with a cover story in this month's DownBeat magazine following two Grammy nominations, a commission from Carnegie Hall and perennial wins in polls.
For a century, jazz was a men's club. Now a vanguard of women virtuosi-including these 16 standouts-are reshaping this most American of art forms. Half a century ago, the acclaimed music critic George T. Simon said everything you need to know about sexism in jazz: "Only God can make a tree, and only men can play good jazz."
Poised at the kitchen counter in her Brooklyn apartment, Anat Cohen assumed the role of solicitous host. Tall, with waves of cascading hair softening her otherwise commanding presence, the clarinetist reeled off a selection of teas and coffees in such precise detail it would have made a barista's head spin.
June 8 Memo to jazz producers and promoters across the world: If you want your jazz festival to be festive, have Anat Cohen open it. The Tel Aviv-born, New York-based clarinetist played a set of contemporary jazz at the Hamilton on Friday night - the opening night of 2019's D.C.
When the Anat Cohen Tentet played the University of Chicago’s Logan Center in 2017, listeners had to be struck not only by the band’s range of repertoire but its breadth of instrumental color.
Cohen’s buoyant clarinet lines soared above and among the plush tones of fluegelhorn, vibraphone, accordion, drums and what-not. To hear a soloist of Cohen’s stature surrounded by so much glowing, shimmering sound was to encounter her music in a welcome new light.
All of that – and more – should emerge in Orchestra Hall on Friday evening, when Cohen plays just the second performance of “Triple Helix,” a concerto written for her and the Tentet by longtime collaborator Oded Lev-Ari. Co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and Symphony Center, the three-movement work had its world premiere Jan. 12 in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall and appears to have stretched the talents of both soloist and composer.
Anat Cohen & Fred Hersch
Live in Healdsburg
What could have merely been a nice one-off gig turns out as a contagiously happy meeting of kindred spirits. The duo’s serendipitous debut set just begs for further followups.
[…] We sat in on a conversation between Cohen, Jensen and journalist Natalie Weiner, which touched on both the magical qualities of the group and some of the challenges its members have faced as female musicians in what’s still a male-dominated field.
“I don’t think we’re there yet, where somebody would look at a group like Artemis and just think of it as a band without actually having to mention, ‘Oh, it’s an all-woman band,’ or ‘It’s an all-female band,’” Rosnes says. But listen to the music in this show and you’ll understand how a project like this is making a difference — and plenty of noise, in the best possible way.
“Israeli Arts @ 70” is a half-hour CUNY TV special, celebrating Israeli Arts in honor of Israel’s 70th anniversary. Hosted by Donna Hanover, this Special features a vibrant array of leading and emerging contemporary Israeli artists in Dance, Literature, Film/TV and Music: Anat Cohen, the top Jazz clarinetist in the world; Ravid Kahalani, founder and lead singer of Yemen Blues which combines Yemenite Jewish, Jazz and African music; critically acclaimed Israeli authors Ayelet Gundar-Goshen of “Waking Lions” and Ruby Namdar of “The Ruined House”; the internationally renowned Vertigo Dance Company, the first Israeli dance company ever to appear in London’s Royal Albert Hall; the exciting Israeli film directors Eran Riklis of “Shelter”, Mike Burstyn of “Azimuth” and TV director Keren Margalit of “Sleeping Bears” and much more. Jerry Carlson, host of CUNY TV’s “City Cinematheque”, and Lisa Beth Kovetz, CUNY TV Reporter, are also featured.
Get a front row seat to this special TV event! This Special was produced in collaboration with Israel’s Office of Cultural Affairs in North America at the Consulate General of Israel in New York, with assistance from America Israel Cultural Foundation, Jewish Book Council and Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan.
“It’s important to me that music is an engine for feeling,” says Anat Cohen.
“If the music is grooving, then I respond. When everybody’s focused on that feeling, it’s elevating – for the people onstage, and for the audience.”
A clarinetist, tenor saxophonist and bandleader known to impart good feeling in almost any setting, Cohen is taking a moment to reflect on our fall fund drive, Feeling Good with WBGO. It’s a theme that resonates with her — as an artist, as a person and as a WBGO listener herself.
Happy Song comes in second in DownBeat's Jazz Album of the Year Critics Poll!
#2: Anat Cohen Tentet: Happy Song
Anat Cohen's Happy Song is the result of a diverse, remarkably talented cast of players, composers, and arrangers. Cohen wrote or co-wrote three of the tracks here, and the musical director for the project was Oded Lev-Ari. Cohen's clarinet work is consistently compelling throughout, whether she's exploring fusion on Lev-Ari's "Trills and Thrills" or unleashing the toe-tapper "Oh Baby."
Since arriving on the New York City scene in 1999, via Tel Aviv and the Berklee College of Music, Anat Cohen has exhibited qualities in music where one wonders where she is going to be next—musically—and what group of musicians she will be associated with. She plays Brazilian music like she was born there. She swings her ass off with George Wein’s all-star band. If you can’t feel her when she blows some blues, a physical examination may be in order. Cohen’s choices spring from her wide-ranging tastes, her unabashed passion for all kinds of music—and the courage of her convictions to pursue them.
She plays in every genre with unbridled joy. Anyone who has seen this wonderfully talented reed player on stage can’t help but be touched by her elan.